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Bartelby 12-31-2012 08:03 AM

A towel too far
 
Apparently going for the towel causes problems with meeting the more stringent 25 second rule, or at least it did for Baghdatis in the Brisbane ATP event.

db10s 12-31-2012 08:07 AM

Then they need to towel (I just made a verb) faster.

Relinquis 12-31-2012 08:43 AM

i don't understand why they have to wipe themselves dry after every rally.

They don't play in trousers anymore, so appearances don't really matter as much as in the 19th century.

woodrow1029 12-31-2012 08:44 AM

There are going to be players that are going to get very frustrated with the ballkids in the next few months. Toweling off is definitely not a valid excuse for taking more than 25 seconds. That will be one of the negatives of the new rule, I'm afraid. I just hope that none of the players receive a time violation on a big point, and have to hit a second serve, and then turn around and rip into a ball kid verbally for taking too long to get them their precious towel.

Another negative, is that if there is a rule question, or a dispute about something, the chair umpire will have a little bit of discretion with time to answer a question or 2 before going back to the clock. Once the players catch onto that, there may be some more ridiculous arguments or discussions over stupid things, which is something that has drastically improved with the addition of Hawkeye.

While there are some people that use ridiculous Hawkeye challenges with the intent of buying more time, there are a lot of players that go through several matches without using a challenge that aren't when they legitimately thought the call was wrong. Once the players realize that the 25 seconds doesn't start until the OUT/IN image is revealed, there may be several more wasted challenges.

While I have never been a fan of the "shot clock" idea, I do think that if the chair umpire's discretion is taken out of the equation, and time violations will be given each and every time 25 seconds is exceeded, I do think it may be a good idea to have one, because it's tough to judge when you are actually playing the difference between 22 and 27 seconds. It may save several time violations if a player looks up and says, "I'm at 20, get to the line and serve."

Another thing to remember is that the umpire controls the clock. The time clock on the PDA starts as soon as the umpire enters the point into the PDA. That does not happen EXACTLY when the point ends. The chair umpire's technique is to check the point loser at the end of the point to make sure he's not going to chuck a racket, or launch a ball, or do some other code violation. THerefore, the clock may not start for 1-3 seconds after the point ends. So, when the TV networks put that image on the bottom of the screen that shows the time since the last point, it may show 26-28 seconds, but the umpire's clock may say 22-25.

There is no absolutely perfect way to do this. There will be positives and negatives to just about everything that they can come up with. I do think that losing a serve makes it more fan friendly, better on the players, and more enforceable for the umpires than a loss of point.

Also, the players have been being warned about this new change for the last couple of monts of last season. It shouldn't be a surprise to them.

Of course, at the Australian Open, it will be 20 seconds (not 25), and it will be up to the umpire's discretion again. That is the main problem I have. They just need to get on the same page. Brad Gilbert and John McEnroe are going to be broadcasting at the Aussie Open blasting the umpires for not following the new rule, because I can guarantee you that they will have no idea (as they are usually clueless about the rules) that it's different.

woodrow1029 12-31-2012 12:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by db10s (Post 7088809)
Then they need to towel (I just made a verb) faster.

Sorry, towel is already in the dictionary as a noun and verb.

sundaypunch 01-01-2013 08:39 AM

I may be in the minority, but I think that ball kids should not have to deal with towels. Leave one at the back of the court or on their chair and let the player be in charge of it. If they want to walk back and use it as part of their 25-sec. that is fine. This way there is no complaining about the ball kids taking too long.

Not to mention that it's not the most pleasant thing for a ball kid to have to handle a sweat soaked towel.

jokinla 01-01-2013 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sundaypunch (Post 7090297)
I may be in the minority, but I think that ball kids should not have to deal with towels. Leave one at the back of the court or on their chair and let the player be in charge of it. If they want to walk back and use it as part of their 25-sec. that is fine. This way there is no complaining about the ball kids taking too long.

Not to mention that it's not the most pleasant thing for a ball kid to have to handle a sweat soaked towel.

Exactly, hopefully the first ball kid that gets Nalbandianed, is immediately defaulted, that's not their fault.

vandre 01-01-2013 09:06 AM

it does seem like players are getting stupid about toweling. i know its hot in austrailia this time of year but i've seen players go for the towel after an ace. really???? one shot (or no shots if you're the receiver) and you're so sweaty you need a towel because your wristband and/ or your bandana have been completely overwhelmed??? heck, i remember lendl used to use his shirt sleeves! when did this toweling thing start?



i don't generally like the idea of more rules (especially when there's the possibility they might not be enforced uniformly) but i think it has gotten ridiculous and won't get any better if left to the players' discretion (i'm afraid). it seems like the kind of thing that started to help players be more comfortable on the court (which i don't have that much of a problem with) but its been abused to the point of being silly.

there's a huge opportunity here for sham-wow to get into the headband/ wristband game! someone call vince! :)

db10s 01-01-2013 10:05 AM

As a ball boy I have to agree. The towels start getting soggy quickly... It's pretty gross.

ollinger 01-01-2013 10:14 AM

Enforce the time clock and the towel behavior will cease. Players will find other solutions (new wristband on every changeover, for example) because they HAVE TO. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, Plato told us.

jaggy 01-01-2013 10:26 AM

Id be a towel boy on the wta tour. Just saying.

TTMR 01-01-2013 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Relinquis (Post 7088869)
i don't understand why they have to wipe themselves dry after every rally.

They don't play in trousers anymore, so appearances don't really matter as much as in the 19th century.

They don't towel off because of perspiration most of the time. They towel off because it's become a force of habit, a compulsion. Most players towel off between every point, including aces. It's a subconscious way of resetting themselves for the next point. Players do other things as well: Roddick tugs on his shirt, Sharapova pushes back her hair on both sides, and Nadal...does what he does.

Say Chi Sin Lo 01-01-2013 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Relinquis (Post 7088869)
i don't understand why they have to wipe themselves dry after every rally.

They don't play in trousers anymore, so appearances don't really matter as much as in the 19th century.

I can overlook toweling off after rallies, but not after some fool gets aced or watches a double fault fly by.

Bobby Jr 01-01-2013 01:48 PM

I'd like to know how this is going to be applied in a practical by the umpires.

Just say a player has been over the 25 second rule a couple of times just as they start their serve. The umpire isn't going to call out during their serve so does he, before the next point, call the violation? Or will they wait until someone is at 27 or 28 seconds before a serve to call it right there and then.

It's going to be a nightmare imo... some players are going to go ape if it happens just before a break point etc.

Relinquis 01-01-2013 01:51 PM

why don't they just keep the towels on a chair/stool at the back of the court. that way, any time wastage is player related and the ball boys/girls can't be blamed.

woodrow1029 01-01-2013 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby Jr (Post 7090897)
I'd like to know how this is going to be applied in a practical by the umpires.

Just say a player has been over the 25 second rule a couple of times just as they start their serve. The umpire isn't going to call out during their serve so does he, before the next point, call the violation? Or will they wait until someone is at 27 or 28 seconds before a serve to call it right there and then.

It's going to be a nightmare imo... some players are going to go ape if it happens just before a break point etc.

The umpires won't stop a player in ther service motion. If they haven't started their motion by 26-28 seconds, it will be called.

Also, keep in mind what I said earlier that its impossible to start the clock exactly when the point ends, because the chair umpire has the clock, which starts when he enters the point in te PDA. There is a 1-3 second delay, especially if it looks like a player may commit a code violation, or has a question.

woodrow1029 01-01-2013 02:28 PM

I just hope it doesn't cause players to abuse the ballkid, start stupid arguments with te umpire, or make more dumb challenges.


Maybe they should institute timeouts. Like a player gets 1 or 2 15 second timeouts per set.

Bartelby 01-01-2013 08:38 PM

It could also penalize people who can't toss a ball into the air - V Williams and Ivanovic come to mind - which surely is fair.

woodrow1029 01-01-2013 08:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bartelby (Post 7091732)
It could also penalize people who can't toss a ball into the air - V Williams and Ivanovic come to mind - which surely is fair.

Of course, that is only if WTA adopts a similar rule.

Bartelby 01-01-2013 08:49 PM

I was wondering about the WTA as the current event iin Brisbane includes both tours and the commentators have noticed the new attention to the time, but were unable both to get the rule right or distinguish between the two events.

And it is a rather simple change. Despite this fact R Harrison was moaning endlessly to the umpire about being warned.


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